Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer has been revealed as Australia’s largest political donor, with he and his company Mineralogy offering close to $1 million, mostly to the Liberal Party.
According to figures released yesterday by the Australian Electoral Commission, Palmer and his company donated a total of around $850,000 in the last financial year, including a $400,000 injection into the Federal Liberal Party.
Palmer also made a personal donation of $280,000 to Queensland’s Liberal National Party.
One of Australia’s wealthiest people, estimates of Palmer’s personal wealth vary wildly, from as low as a reported $1.5 billion to Palmer’s personal suggestion of closer to $6.5 billion.
Despite the hefty, and much needed donation, the Liberal Party is looking to curtail or eliminate such large business or union donations, saying it creates a perception of undue influence.
“It is now time to either stop or severely curtail all business and union donations,” Opposition Shadow Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson said.
According to news.com.au, a spokesperson for Ronaldson said that he would be happy for individual donations to be capped at $1500, still allowing people such as Palmer to contribute.